Is investing in training the key to successful tech hiring?

The past year has been colossal in terms of digital transformation, with responses to the pandemic accelerating the adoption of digital technologies amongst businesses across all sectors and regions. According to a study by McKinsey & Company, Covid-19 has accelerated digital transformation by a staggering seven years.

Many businesses have realised the strategic importance of technology in remaining competitive in this new business and economic environment. 

From investment in remote working tools and cloud solutions to increased cybersecurity software; increased spend in tech has allowed many companies to continue operating throughout this difficult period instead of meeting the fatal ending experienced by many others in the industry.

According to a recent study by CW Jobs, UK businesses increased their investment in tech tools by an average of £1.08 million in 2020.

However, in the same CW Jobs research study, “Tackling Tech Training”,  it was revealed that only a quarter of IT decision-makers were satisfied with their employees’ abilities to use these newly invested in technologies properly. 

This finding suggests that while there is increased investment in technologies, there is clearly a disconnect between this investment and effective training initiatives to activate these tools.

As technology spending continues to grow, it’s clear that it will become vital for businesses to allocate greater time and resource to technology training programmes in order to help attract and retain top-level candidates and to ensure the digital transformation is as frictionless as possible. 

This is further demonstrated by the report, with just under two thirds (65 percent) of tech workers reporting technology training as an important employee incentive for the future.

Here at HdE TALENT, we strongly acknowledge the importance of investing in training for both our candidates and our clients. We regularly leverage the help of tech academies such as iO Academy, which offer brilliant courses from upskilling workshops to bespoke training courses for tech businesses.

As experts in the world of technology recruitment, we’ve put together our thoughts on implementing top training programmes to ensure you remain competitive. 

Training as a long-term investment

It’s a common practice for many employers to incorporate training into their onboarding process for new talent. However, it’s also common to find that after a few months, training is put to the back of the priority queue as attention diverts to the day-to-day tasks of the business.

Yet, there are so many reasons to offer regular training and development beyond the onboarding process. And as the competition for hiring technology talent becomes ever more fierce, businesses must view training as a long-term investment,  one which is factored into their ongoing recruitment processes and job ads. 

According to the CW Jobs survey, almost all tech workers (94 percent) reported valuing training throughout their careers and 67 percent agreed training needs to be regularly refreshed for all members of the team. This comes off the back of a large majority of the respondents agreeing that certain technologies and training can very quickly become outdated in today’s digital world.

Candidates value the power of mentoring

In the journey of attracting and retaining top calibre talent, employers should never underestimate the value candidates place on mentoring programmes. 

In fact, mentoring came out as the top training initiative companies should offer when upskilling current tech employees (30 percent). However, when looking closer at the data, this preference appears to vary depending on age. Interestingly, only 23 percent of those aged 16-24 stated mentoring should be offered as training, in comparison to 44 percent of over 55s’ who said the same. 

Given the high priority that candidates place on mentoring, offering this as part of your employee package will give you an edge over competitors. In addition, those clients who currently provide mentoring programmes as part of their training initiatives should promote it as an attractive benefit to candidates.. 

More creative, interactive training needed to engage younger tech workers

Whereas the older generation were more in favour of mentoring when it came to upskilling, the survey revealed that younger tech workers (those in the 16-24 age bracket) shown a greater preference for more creating training programmes such as digital bootcamps and gamified learning. 

In terms of training, gamification is far from child’s play. We humans have an innate, natural desire to compete, and leveraging this competitive streak in corporate training will not only make it more dynamic, but will significantly increase employer engagement too. 

Training programmes should be flexible and tailored

What’s clear from the CW Jobs findings is that there are distinct preferences when it comes to training styles. Therefore, when onboarding new hires, it’s important for HR managers to tailor the programmes to each individual candidate and their needs. 

This refers to factors such as levels of expertise. For example, more experienced workers often prefer to have greater ownership over training initiatives, such as having an allocated budget where they can spend as they wish. Whereas entry-level candidates are likely to require greater structure and intensity within their training programmes.

It’s been a tough year for many businesses, and technology has prevailed as the supreme saviour in the race towards survival. 

With the rapid rise of digital technologies, so has risen the appetite for tech talent. The challenges is, the need is huge and the talent pool… not so. 

While you’re seeking new talent, it’s strongly advisable to find new ways of building the skills needed to implement the digital transformations required to emerge stronger from the pandemic. Whether that’s by reskilling your current employees or introducing new apprenticeship schemes, more creative strategies will be required to take forward your business. 

Are you a business looking to attract and retain top talent? Get in touch with us today to discover how we can work with you to augment your recruitment strategy with tech training.